How Writing Can Save Your Life
helping to give an outlet for your struggles
Okay, so that headline might be a bit of an exaggeration.
Writing can't literally save your life. if you're bleeding out in some dark alley somewhere. Unless maybe you've managed to write a note that says "HELP! Call 911!" But writing can't stop you from bleeding or give you CPR.
But figuratively it certainly can. And here’s how:
It can help you blow off steam
If you’ve had a bad day, are pissed off or angry, writing about whatever is bothering you can really help release the pressure from building up in you and save you from snapping at your significant other or your beloved Mr. Fluffy.
It can help you get revenge
If you’re a writer, and you have other writer friends, then I'm sure you’ve probably said these words: so-and-so is going to end up in my story and they’re going to die. Like, murder is frowned upon...but fictional murder? Adding your real-life arch-nemesis to your story (with a name change hopefully, but you’ll know who they are!) and then putting them through the wringer only to end up dead? You can do whatever you want - it’s your story! So you can have that revenge that you seek - if only in the fictional world of writing. But hey, it’s better than a life behind bars!
It can help you open up
Are you an introvert? Or shy? Or awkward? Maybe you can never say just the right thing. But in the world of writing you can say things however you want to say them - and take as long as you need to, to get it perfect. Writing allows you to open up and say the things you might want to but never be able to say in person in the real world.
It can help you heal
Writing can be cathartic. Like helping you get your anger out after a bad day, it can also help you heal. When my mom passed away almost 6 years ago from alcoholism at the young-ish age of 65, I have been writing about grief and loss since then, and it has helped me with processing the loss. Writing has almost been like my own little free therapist. Letting my feelings spill out onto the page (for all to see!) and hopefully, my words about my experience will help others who are going through similar grief and loss.
It can change your life
Writing can open up a whole community of other writers and therefore potential friends you never knew existed! Yes, writing itself is a solitary activity, but thanks to the mysterious world of the internet, you can find your writing tribe in various places on social media - like Facebook and Twitter. And in your writing, you can explore places you’ve never been. Which is a lifesaver during the Covid pandemic especially with many people being unable to travel far and wide.
It can give you purpose
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that writing gives me a sense of purpose. An identity. I write, therefore am a writer. It’s something that a person not only does but is. It can give you something to do, especially if you maybe feel that you don’t have much to offer the world. But as a writer you most definitely do! So share your words, your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences with the rest of us! No one is ever worse off after reading something. If anything, they are more.
It can help you step out of your comfort zone
Are you a fiction writer, but only ever write fantasy? Well, you can switch it up and step a toe out of your narrow comfort zone and try your hand at sci-fi or maybe horror. Or maybe even take a bit of a bigger step out and give Romance a try. Or maybe even non-fiction and write about real life. Taking a tip-toe or a leap out of your familiar place of safety is something we can do with writing. And it doesn’t involve anything like bungee jumping or skydiving or anything else to do with heights (all things that are way too far out of my IRL comfort zone they might as well be on the moon).
Can you relate to any of the above? How does writing save your life?
Check out some of my other non-fiction articles about writing here: